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O f Agricultural, Industrial, Trade and Financial
Conditions in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
Released for Publication On and After the Morning of November 30, 1931
J O H N S. W O O D ,
Chairman and Federal Reserve Agent



RAD E and industry in the Eighth Federal
Reserve District during October failed to
better the low rate of activity prevailing
during the preceding month. On the contrary, with
virtually all lines investigated by this bank, there
was a slowing down as contrasted with September,
and as compared with the same time last year, the
showing was distinctly unfavorable. In the large
cities and the country purchasing of commodities
was on a very conservative and cautious scale, and
universally there was a disposition to conserve cash.
Unseasonably high temperatures obtaining through
the month tended to hold down distribution of fall
and winter goods, besides causing many manu­
facturers to further postpone programs for increased
production. This was true particularly in the heav­
ier lines, notably iron and steel, lumber, fire clay
products and all descriptions of building materials.
As has been the case for many months, manufactur­
ers were making up only limited quantities of goods
for stock, confining their operations almost excluively to materials to apply on orders actually booked
or in reasonably certain prospect.


The most important constructive development
in this area, has been the sharp rise in prices of
wheat, corn, cotton and other important agricultural
products. This change has resulted in a sharp accel­
eration in business of wholesalers in the large dis­
tributing centers, also in retail trade in the country
and small towns. A number of large retailing and
jobbing firms which furnish their statistics to this
bank, report sales volume during the first half of
November the largest for any similar period this
Agricultural prospects maintained the high
promise of earlier in the year. Production of virtu­
ally all the leading crops grown in this district in
1931 will considerably exceed the average, and in
the case of cotton and corn, new records for all time
are indicated. Thus, while prices through the sea­
son have been low, large quantities to dispose of
will partly offset the low unit return. In many sec­

Assistant Federal Reserve Agent




J. V I O N P A P IN ,


tions liquidation by farmers has been in excess of
expectations, and additional reduction of indebted­
ness is in prospect. Throughout the district, farmers
are well supplied with food and feed for carrying
through the winter, and conditions in the agricultur­
al areas are considerably better than at the corre­
sponding period a year or two years ago.
The volume of retail trade in October, as re­
flected in sales of department stores in leading cities,
was 15.6 per cent smaller than during the same
month in 1930, and approximately 3 per cent larger
than in September this year; for the first ten months
this year the total was 13 per cent smaller than dur­
ing the same period a year ago. Combined sales of
all wholesaling and jobbing firms reporting to this
bank were one-fourth smaller in October than for
the same month in 1930 and 7 per cent smaller than
the September total this year; for the first ten
months this year the aggregate was 16 per cent be­
low that of the same period in 1930. The value of
permits issued for new buildings in the five largest
cities of the district in October was 15.5 per cent
smaller than in September, and 11 per cent larger
than in October, 1930. Construction contracts let
in the Eighth District in October were the smallest
for any month since these records have been kept;
36 per cent smaller than in September and 76 per
cent less than in October, 1930. Debits to individual
accounts in October exceeded the September total
by 8.8 per cent, but were almost one-fourth less
than in October, 1930; for the first ten months this
year the aggregate was about one-fifth smaller than
for the same period in 1930. Savings deposits held
by selected banks decreased slightly between O cto­
ber 7 and November 4, and on the latter date were
6.4 per cent smaller than on the corresponding date
last year.
Freight traffic of railroads operating in this dis­
trict continued in considerably smaller volume than
during the corresponding period a year and two
years earlier. Recessions occurred in all classifica­
tions, but were most pronounced in merchandise

and miscellaneous freight and coal and coke. Due
to the unusually mild weather through October and
the first half of November and the low rate of opera­
tions at industrial plants, consumption of fuel was
much smaller than the usual seasonal volume. For
the country as a whole, loadings of revenue freight
for the first 44 weeks this year, or to October 31,
totaled 32,379,444 cars against 39,905,050 cars for
the corresponding period in 1930 and 45,671,671 cars
in 1929. The St. Louis Terminal Railway, which
handles interchanges for 28 connecting lines, inter­
changed 152,751 loads in October, against 144,833
loads in September and 194,613 loads in October,
1930. During the first nine days of November the
interchange amounted to 43,328 loads, which com­
pares with 46,993 loads during the corresponding
period in October and 54,121 loads during the first
nine days of November, 1930. Passenger traffic of
the reporting roads decreased 20 per cent in October
as compared with the same month last year. Esti­
mated tonnage of the Federal Barge Line between
St. Louis and New Orleans in October was 105,000
tons, against 106,931 tons in September and 102,569
tons in October, 1930.
Reports relative to collections reflected some­
what spotty and irregular conditions, but with the
average slightly better than during the preceding
thirty days and comparing favorably with the cor­
responding period a year ago. Throughout the
south, where cotton, rice and tobacco are being har­
vested, liquidation showed improvement as con­
trasted with the month before. Planters have taken
up a considerable part of their indebtedness to the
Government for feed and seed loans, thereby releas­
ing much cotton for paying other bills. The upturn
in wheat prices has been reflected in a quickening
in collections in the typical grain areas. W hole­
salers and jobbers in the chief distributing centers
report October 1 settlements fully up to expecta­
tions, with some lines showing better results than
a year ago. City retailers report little change in con­
ditions from earlier in the fall. Questionnaires ad­
dressed to representative interests in the several
lines scattered through the district show the follow­
ing results:
E xcellent

G ood


P oor

1931....... 0% 21.1% 56.4% 22.5%
September, 1931....... 0
1930....... 1.4
Commercial failures in the Eighth Federal Re­
serve District in October, according to Dun’s, num­
bered 126 involving liabilities of $2,497,736 against
102 failures in September with liabilities of $2,621,575, and 118 defaults for a total of $3,505,807 in
October, 1930.

The average circulation in the United States
in October was $5,478,000,000 against $5,133,000,000
in September, and $4,501,000,000 in October, 1930.
Boots and Shoes — October sales of the report­
ing firms were 28 per cent smaller than for the same
month in 1930, and 9 per cent less than the Septem­
ber total this year. Inventories continue to decrease,
stocks on hand November 1 being 23 per cent and
8 per cent smaller, respectively, than a month and a
year earlier. The decrease in the month-to-month
sales comparison is seasonal, and compares with a
decrease of 15 per cent for the same period in 1930.
Weather conditions have been unfavorable for the
movement of seasonal goods, and another influence
tending to hold down sales was the disposition on
the part of retailers to await possible price reduc­
tions. Collections were reported in the main good,
though the volume of actual losses from weak ac­
counts is considerably larger than heretofore. Fac­
tory operations were reduced somewhat, averaging
from 60 to 65 per cent of capacity.
Clothing — According to the reporting firms,
the movement of seasonal apparel during October
continued much below normal, due chiefly to the
mild weather prevailing in October and during the
first part of November. Sales in October showed a
considerable increase over September, but the total
was 17 per cent smaller than for October last year.
Demand in both men’s and women’s lines centers
largely in cheap-priced goods.
Drugs and Chemicals — October sales of the re­
porting interests fell 21 per cent below the same
month in 1930, but increased 1 per cent over the
September total this year. Stocks on November 1
were slightly larger than thirty days earlier, but
6 per cent less than on November 1 last year. Buy­
ing of seasonal merchandise was backward, due
partly to the warm weather. In the immediate past,
considerable betterment has taken place in advance
ordering of holiday goods and remedial drugs. This
has been offset, however, by the usual recession in
demand for heavy chemicals and drugs by the manu­
facturing trade. Prices were about steady with the
preceding month, advances in certain commodities
being balanced by declines in others.
Dry Goods — Activities in this classification
during October failed to develop improvement,
sales of the reporting firms in that month showing
a decline of 27 per cent under the corresponding
period last year and of 1 per cent under the Septem­
ber volume this year. In the comparison with a
year ago a considerable part of the decrease is ac­
counted for by lower prices. Unseasonably high

temperatures held down purchasing of cold weather
merchandise, notably underwear, outings and w ool­
en blankets. Since November 1 there has been con­
siderable pick-up in all lines, attributed partly to
the upturn in certain agricultural products and to
a greater disposition on the part of retailers to re­
plenish heavily depleted stocks. Tw o leading firms
reported sales during the first two weeks in Novem­
ber the heaviest for any similar period this year.
Purchasing, however, continues chiefly for imme­
diate shipment, little appreciation being noted in
advance orders. Stocks continue to decrease, the
total on November 1 being 13 per cent smaller than
a month earlier, and about one-third smaller than on
November 1, 1930.
Electrical Supplies — A moderate improvement
took place in sales of the reporting firms from Sep­
tember to October, but the total for the latter
month was one-third less than for the same period
in 1930. Inventories also gained slightly between
October 1 and November 1, but were 15 per cent
smaller on the latter date than a year ago. In the
sales comparison with last year, decreases were gen­
eral in practically all lines, but most pronounced in
radio materials, household appliances and automo­
tive goods. Ordering of seasonal and holiday mer­
chandise is in smaller than the usual volume.
Flour — Production at the twelve leading mills
of the district in October totaled 305,335 barrels,
against 300,676 barrels in September and 426,184
barrels in October, 1930. Considerable improvement
in demand for all grades of flour developed during
the last half of October, due mainly to the advance
in the wheat market. The betterment has continued
into November, though in the immediate past the
erratic action of the grain market has had a tenden­
cy to hold down buying. For the first time in a
number of months interest in future requirements
was in evidence, and generally the class of buying
was better than at any time this season. One fav­
orable development, according to reporting millers,
was the broader demand for high grade flours. In
sympathy with the upturn in wheat, prices advanced
to the highest point since last July. Mill operations
were at from 50 to 55 per cent of capacity.
Furniture— October sales of the reporting firms
were 44 per cent less than for same month in 1930
and 18 per cent smaller than the September total
this year. Ordering by retailers through October
continued on a hand-to-mouth basis, with relatively
little interest being taken in holiday goods. Since
November 1 there has been a fair pick-up in the line
as a whole, particularly in household furniture and
furnishings. There were no notable changes in
prices as compared with the preceding thirty days,

but the trend is lower. Inventories continue to
shrink, stocks on November 1 being only about half
as large as on the same date in 1930, and 15 per cent
less than on October 1 this year.
Groceries — Considerably smaller buying in the
rural areas and generally lower prices were largely
responsible for a decrease in October sales of the
reporting firms of 21 per cent below the same month
in 1930. A decrease of 8 per cent under the Septem­
ber total this year was shown. Stocks on November
1 were 14 per cent and 18 per cent smaller, respec­
tively, than thirty days and a year earlier. Advance
ordering of holiday goods is reported in smaller vol­
ume than at any similar period in recent years.
Hardware — Business in this classification was
marked by further contraction during October, sales
of the reporting firms for that month being 18 per
cent smaller than for the same period in 1930, and
9 per cent less than in September this year. Inven­
tories also declined, the November 1 totals showing
a decrease of 7 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively,
as contrasted with thirty days and a year earlier.
In the yearly sales comparison a considerable part
of the decrease was due to reduced purchasing of
builders’ tools and hardware, and of goods used
chiefly in the rural areas. The trend of prices was
slightly lower, with the average about 5 to 8 per
cent below a year ago.
Iron and Steel Products — Activities at mills,
foundries, machine shops and other ferrous metal
working plants in this district averaged slightly
lower during October than the low rate in Septem­
ber. During the first half of November a further
slowing down was noted, largely seasonal in char­
acter and most pronounced in the steel mills. De­
spite the small volume of shipments of finished
goods, a further contraction in unfilled orders took
place. The placement of new business continues
along extremely cautious and conservative lines, and
covers only materials for immediate requirements.
Demand from the automotive industry was below
expectations, new orders being in relatively small
volume and specifications on materials under con­
tract, backward. This was true particularly in the
case of malleable foundries and certain manufactur­
ers of forgings. The mild weather prevailing all fall
had a tendency to hold down purchasing of seasonal
goods, besides causing postponement of planned
operations by certain specialty makers. Sales of
farm implement interests were reported the smallest
for any similar period in recent years, and for the
most part their plants were closed down or being
operated on heavily reduced schedules. Ordering
by the railroads continues at the low ebb of earlier
months this year. Since completion of the harvests,

moderate expansion in materials for the agricultural
sections has taken place, but the movement of such
goods is considerably below the seasonal average.
Distribution of iron and steel goods by jobbing and
warehouse interests continued spotty and irregular,
the only lines exhibiting activity being for use in
highway construction and other outdoor engineer­
ing projects. Building materials generally remained
quiet, and less than the usual seasonal improvement
was noted in demand for tubular goods. Manufac­
turers and distributors of sheets and plates report
October sales the smallest for any month since last
winter. The trend of prices of finished materials
generally was slightly easier, and further reductions
were made in scrap iron and steel prices. Quotably
pig iron was unchanged, but buying, particularly of
basic iron, was hardly sufficient to fully test the
market. Ordering for first quarter of 1932 has not
developed, melters generally taking only what they
need from month to month. For the country as a
whole the average daily rate of pig iron production
in October was 37,832 tons, a decrease of 2.8 per cent
from the September rate. Total production in Octo­
ber was 1,172,871 tons, against 1,168,436 tons in
September and 2,165,374 tons in October, 1930.
Steel ingot production in the United States in Octo­
ber totaled 1,592,376 tons, against 1,547,602 tons in
September and 2,692,539 tons in October, 1930.
Combined passenger car, truck and taxicab pro­
duction in the United States in October totaled
80,142, against 140,566 in September, and 150,044 in
October 1930.
According to dealers reporting to this bank,
there was a substantial decrease in distribution of
automobiles during October as contrasted with Sep­
tember, also a small decrease as compared with
October last year. The decrease in the month-tomonth comparison is seasonal in character, having
invariably taken place during the past eight years.
The extent of the decrease this year was somewhat
larger than the average, which fact is partly attrib­
utable to a general disposition on the part of pros­
pective purchasers to await the appearance of new
models and possible price reductions. The decrease
under a year ago was considerably smaller than in
recent months. As has been the case since last fall,
sales of dealers, in the country and small towns
made a relatively less favorable showing than those
in the larger centers of population. Sales of repair
parts and accessories continue relatively heavier
than of automobiles proper, due to the fact that
owners are reconditioning their cars in order to
prolong their period of serviceability. Sales of
new passenger cars by the reporting dealers in

October were 14 per cent less than in September
and 7 per cent smaller than the October total last
year. In anticipation of new models, dealers were
universally holding their purchases from factories
to a minimum. Inventories receded further, stocks
on hand on November 1 being 8 per cent smaller
than a month earlier, and approximately one-fourth
less than on November 1, 1930. Fair activity was
reported in the used car market, with demand for
the better class of machines, those selling at $500
or more, showing distinct improvement. Stocks of
salable new cars on hand on November 1 showed
little change from a month earlier, and were about
one-fourth less than on November 1 last year. Sales
of trucks showed a slight decline from September
to October, but a gain of 3 per cent over October,
1930. Deferred payment sales of dealers reporting
on that item constituted 51 per cent of their total
October sales, against 47 per cent in September,
and 54 per cent in October, 1930.
In point of dollar value, permits issued for new
construction in the five largest cities of the district
in October were 15.5 per cent smaller than in Sep­
tember, and larger by approximately 11 per cent
than in October a year ago. According to statistics
compiled by the F. W . Dodge Corporation, contracts
let in the Eighth Federal Reserve District in Octo­
ber amounted to $7,538,340, the smallest monthly
total ever recorded and comparing with $11,790,867
in September, and $31,705,045 in October, 1930.
Production of portland cement for the country as a
whole in October totaled 10,762,000 barrels against
12,092,000 barrels in September, and 14,410,000 bar­
rels in October, 1930. Building figures for October
follow .

N ew Construction
*C ost
Perm its
Evansville .. 185
L ittle R o ck
Louisville . . 5 8
M em phis .... 163
St. Louis.... 308
O ct.
Sept. totals
A ug. totals
*In thousands

817 1,414
678 1,237
(000 om itted ).



Repairs, etc.
*C ost
1931 1930
21 $ 42



Public utilities companies in the five largest
cities of the district report consumption of electric
current by selected industrial customers in October
as being about 7 per cent smaller than in September
and 17 per cent less than in October, 1930. Detailed
figures follow :
O ct.
N o. of
Custom ­
* K .W .H . * K .W .H .
Evansville .... 40
L ittle R ock.. 35
Louisville .... 85
T otals ........... 355
* In thousands (000 om itted).


O ct. 1931
com p, to
Sept. 1931
+ 2.5% '
— 18.0
— 4.1
+ 3 8 .3
— 11.4
— 6.9

O ct.
* K .W .H .

O ct. 1931
com p, to
O ct. 1930
+ 2.8 %
— 34.9
— 17.4
+ 2 3 .2
— 20.2
— 17.1

The following figures, compiled by the U. S.
Department of the Interior, show kilowatt produc­
tion both for lighting and industrial purposes for the
country as a w hole:
A ugust,
Septem ber,

B y water pow er

B y fuels


The condition of retail trade is reflected in the
following comparative statements showing activi­
ties in the leading cities of the district:
Department Stores
N et sales com parison
Stocks on hand
O ct. 1931 10 months ending O ct. 31,1931
com p, to
com p, to
O ct. 31, 1931 to
O ct. 1930 same period 1930 Oct. 31, 1930
— 22.2%
— 17.9%
Evansville ....... .— 18.0%
L ittle R o ck .... — 14.5
— 15.4
— 16.3
— 15.6
— 19.0
Louisville ....... .— 24.2
M em phis ......... ,— 19.1
— 18.7
— 24.0
Q u in cy ........... — 29.2
— 20.6
— 19.1
St. L ou is........., — 12.4
— 10.7
— 10.6
Springfield, M o .— 20.0
— 22.8
— 11.1
— 12.9
8th D istrict..... .— 15.6
— 14.5

Stock turnover
Jan. 1, to
O ct. 31,
1931 1930

Retail Stores
N et sales com parison
Stocks on hand
O ct. 1931 10 months ending O ct. 31,1931
com p, to
O ct. 31, 1931 to
com p, to
O ct. 1930 same period 1930 O ct. 31, 1930
M en ’s
Furnishings — 7.6%
B oots
and Shoes......— 17.2

Stock turnover
Jan. 1, to
O ct. 31,
1931 1930

— 8.6 %

— 14.2%



— 19.3

— 13.3



Through October and the first half of Novem­
ber weather in the Eighth Federal Reserve District
was mild and generally auspicious for harvesting
of late crops and agricultural operations of all de­
scriptions. As a result the indicated heavy yields
of earlier in the season were well sustained, and in
the case of several important productions, prospects
increased between October 1 and November 1.
Freezes and killing frosts were delayed later than
is ordinarily the case and it was possible for farmers
to carry their live stock on pasture further into the
season than usual. Harvesting conditions were
ideal, particularly for cotton, tobacco and corn, and
these products were secured with minimum losses
in quantity and quality. Lack of rainfall in some
sections was unfavorable for fall planted grains, but
generally plowing and preparation of the soil ad­
vanced rapidly and seeding of winter wheat was
completed, though farmers were unable in many in­
stances to get in full intended acreage, and the total
area seeded to wheat will be smaller than a year
ago. Taken as a whole the output of agricultural
products in this district in 1931 is one of the largest
on record, and considerably in excess of the average
during the past ten years.
A favorable development of the past thirty days
has been the sharp advance in prices of wheat, corn,
cotton and some other important farm products.
After the long period of declining values, the up­

ward reaction had the effect of buoying sentiment
in the farming community, besides substantially
increasing farm incomes. Due to the extremely low
prices earlier in the season, producers were disposed
to hold as much as possible of their crops for more
favorable marketing conditions. Those who were
able to pursue this policy have benefitted by the
recent rise in prices. Except in sections of the south
where cotton picking was in progress, there contin­
ued a large surplus of farm labor in all parts of the
district, the number of unemployed having increased
considerably since completion of the cereal harvests.
Corn — Based on the November 1 condition,
the U. S. Department of Agriculture estimates the
output of corn in the Eighth District at 399,923,000
bushels, a slight decrease under the October 1 fore­
cast, and comparing with 183,254,000 bushels har­
vested in 1930, and an 8-year (1923-1930) average of
342.534.000 bushels. The quality of the crop is high,
with an unusually large percentage being of mer­
chantable grades. Dry weather in October matured
late corn, and nowhere was there damage from
frosts. Harvesting and husking has made good pro­
gress and considerable housing of the crop has been
Winter Wheat — Due to dry weather early in
the season, seeding of wheat extended further into
the fall than is ordinarily the case. In some sections
planting was still being carried on during the first
week of November. However, newly seeded fields
are growing rapidly and are generally in good con­
dition. The movement to market has been heavy,
having been stimulated since late October by the
rise in prices. Production of wheat in 1931 in this
district is estimated by the Department of Agri­
culture at 65,546,000 bushels, against 44,241,000
bushels in 1930, and an 8-year average of 49,921,000
Fruits and Vegetables — Latest reports tend to
confirm unusually large yields of vegetables and
fruits in this district in 1931. Harvesting has been
practically completed, and in the case of apples, pea­
nuts, sweet potatoes, peaches and a number of other
important productions, yields are in excess of the
10-year average. The year was marked by increased
cultivation of truck crops and small fruits, farmers
turning to these products in order to carry out pro­
grams of diversification and departure from single
crops. The apple crop in states entirely or partly
within the Eighth District is 42,063,000 bushels, of
which 4,494,000 barrels grade as commercial crop,
against the small output of 12,935,000 bushels, with
1.666.000 barrels commercial crop in 1930, and a 5year average of 21,349,000 bushels of which 2,263,000
barrels were commercial crop. The output of pears
in these states is estimated at 2,510,000 bushels,

against 1,008,000 bushels in 1930 and a 5-year aver­
age of 1,729,000 bushels; sweet potatoes 18,588,000
bushels, against 14,018,000 bushels last year and a
5-year average of 18,188,000 bushels; peanuts,
31.730.000 bushels, against 19,950,000 bushels in 1930
and a 5-year average of 30,466,000 bushels; grapes
46,510 tons, against 33,831 tons in 1930 and a 5-year
average of 32,387 tons. Gardens in many localities
were benefitted by the delayed frost date and mild
weather, and have proved serviceable considerably
later into the season than is ordinarily the case.
Live Stock — Reports from virtually all sec­
tions of the district reflect favorable conditions
among live stock. Mild weather, late pasturage and
ample supplies of feed and fodder have contributed
to putting herds in exceptionally fine shape for
market and weathering through the winter. Prices,
particularly of hogs, have been low, and there are
numerous complaints of scant profits on feeding
operations. Milk production has been well main­
tained, but a further decrease in egg production took
place. Late hay crops are turning out well as a rule.
The crop of turkeys is one of the best in recent
years, though due to mild weather, shipments to
market up to the middle of November were rela­
tively light.
Receipts and shipments at St. Louis as reported
by the National Stock Yards, were as follows:
R eceipts
O ct.,
O ct.,
O ct., Sept.,
1931 1931
87,449 89,091
Cattle and Calves......122,408 126,753 140,285
H ogs ........................... 238,246 205,040 304,663 189,186 157,783
H orses and M ules...... 2,741
2,867 2,888
Sheep ........................... 64,087 51,951
65,42119,708 12,688

O ct.,

Cotton — Due largely to absence of damaging
frosts in October, ideal harvesting conditions and
minimum losses from rain and wind, cotton pros­
pects underwent further improvement between
October 1 and November 1. Based on conditions
on the latter date, the Department of Agriculture
estimates production in the Eighth District at
3.684.000 bales, an increase of 175,000 bales over
the October 1 forecast, and comparing with 2,289,000 bales produced in 1930, and an 8-year average
(1923-1930) of 2,644,000 bales. Early November
weather continued fine, picking continued in many
localities, and indications point to smaller field loss
this season than in a number of years. The move­
ment was somewhat slow in getting under way, but
once started has been in heavy volume. Ginnings
have made good progress, and reports on the por­
tion of the crop ginned to date indicate that the
average weight of bales this season is heavier than
any previous year on record. Prices of raw cotton
moved upward from the low point of the season,
reached in the first week of October. In the St.

Louis market the middling grade ranged from 5.85c
to 6.60c per pound between October 16 and Novem­
ber 16, closing at 6.00c on the latter date, which
compares with 5.85c on October 16, and 9.35c per
pound on November 17, 1930. Stocks of cotton in
Arkansas warehouses on November 13 totaled
614,817 bales, which compares with 319,836 bales
on October 16 and 357,127 bales on November 14,
Tobacco — Relatively little change occurred
during October, the output in this district being esti­
mated by the Department of Agriculture, based on
the November 1 condition, at 407,512,000 pounds,
a decrease of about 2,000,000 pounds under the
October 1 forecast, and comparing with 306,070,000
pounds produced in 1930, and an 8-year average of
295.534.000 pounds. For the country as a whole the
crop is estimated at 1,647,975,000 pounds. This fore­
cast, while for a record crop, is only about 0.4 per
cent larger than the production in 1930, but approxi­
mately 21.4 per cent above the average for the five
years, 1925-1929. Weather has been generally fav­
orable for curing tobacco, both in the burley and
dark leaf districts. Markets for sale of the year’s
crop will open between December 7 and 15, and
heavy initial deliveries are looked for. Efforts are
being made in the burley and dark tobacco districts
to organize farmers into a cooperative marketing
plan for sale of the 1931 crop.
Rice — With harvesting about completed, it is
evident that the rice crop in Arkansas will amount
to about 9,010,000 bushels. This compares with
7.912.000 bushels produced in 1930 and a 5-year
average of 8,310,000 bushels. Quality is mainly high,
but prices disappointing, farmers receiving from
30 to 35 per cent less than at the same time last year.
Commodity Prices — Range of prices in the St.
Louis market between October 16, 1931 and Novem­
ber 16, 1931, with closing quotations on the latter
date and on November 17, 1930, follow :
H igh
...per bu..$ .65 H
.7 OH
M ay ................. .... “
N o. 2 red winter “
N o. 2 hard “
N o. 2 mixed....
N o. 2 white....
N o. 2 white....
Soft patent..... ...per bbl. 4.35
Spring patent..
M iddling cotton.. ..per lb.
H ogs on h oof......
W heat

L ow
N ov.
$ .48*4
$ .60

16, 1931
N ov.
$ .5 7%
@ .61*4 $ .84
@ .59*4

.43 @ .43 y2
.43*4 @ .43*4

.2 3*A




@ .28*4
@ 3.85
@ 4 .50
@ 4.15


17, 1930
$ .73*4
@ .85
@ .76
@ .72
@ .76

.34*4 @ .35

@ 4.75
@ 4.65
@ 8.75

The banking and financial situation in this dis­
trict during the past thirty days was marked by a
noticeable increase in demand for credits, com­

ing from a wider diversity of borrowers than has
been the case in a number of months. Requirements
of mercantile interests in the chief distributing cen­
ters were on a somewhat larger scale, due in the
main to seasonal influences. There was little change
in demand from manufacturing interests, however,
which continued at the low levels which have ob­
tained through the year. In the south there was the
usual expansion in demand for funds for financing
cotton, tobacco, rice and other fall crops. The sharp
upturn in wheat prices was reflected in increased
commitments by grain handlers, flour mills and
kindred interests. Due to a disposition of cotton
planters to hold their stocks for higher prices,
liquidation of loans based on that staple has been
backward, and country banks in the cotton areas
have been slow in liquidating with their city corre­
spondents. Taken as a whole, however, liquidation
has been in considerable volume, comparing favor­
ably with the corresponding period a year ago.
Between October 14 and November 10 total
loans and discounts of the reporting member banks
decreased slightly, and the total of $396,537,000 on
the latter date was approximately 18 per cent small­
er than at the corresponding time last year. Loans
on securities were sharply lower in both the monthto-month and yearly comparisons. Deposits of these
banks continued to recede during October, but the
curve representing this item has turned definitely
upward since the first of November. Investments
showed only minor variation during the month, but
on November 10 were almost one-third larger than
a year ago. Due in large measure to the sustained
heavy demand for currency, borrowings of all mem­
ber banks from the Federal reserve bank and the
volume of Federal reserve notes in circulation ex­
panded further, reaching new high levels for the
Interest rates moved upward during late Octo­
ber and early in November: At the St. Louis banks
current rates were as follow s: Prime commercial
paper, 4 to 5*4 per cent; collateral loans, 4y2 to 6
per cent; loans secured by warehouse receipts, 4y2
to 6 per cent; interbank loans, 5 to 6 per cent and
cattle loans, 6 per cent.
Condition of Banks — Loans and discounts of
the reporting member banks on November 10, 1931,
showed a decrease of 2.2 per cent as contrasted with
October 14, 1931. Deposits decreased 2.6 per cent
between October 14, 1931 and November 10, 1931

and on the latter date were 7 per cent smaller than
on November 12, 1930. Composite statement fol­
lows :
*N ov. 10,
N um ber of banks reporting............
Loans and discounts (incl. rediscounts)
Secured by U . S. Govt, obligations
and other stocks and bonds....$ 155,041
A ll other loans and discounts.... 241,496

*O ct. 14,

*N ov. 12,



Total loans and discounts.............. $396,537
U . S. Government securities..... 84,705
Other securities............................. 131,102





Total investments.............................. $215,807
Reserve balance with F. R. bank.. 42,690
Cash in vault........................................
N et demand deposits.................... 330,628
T im e deposits.................................. 223,119
Government deposits.....................





T otal deposits......................................$556,231
Bills payable and rediscounts with
Federal Reserve Bank.................
*In thousands (000 om itted).
These banks are located in St. Louis, Louisville, Memphis, Little
R ock, and Evansville, and their total resources comprise approximately
52.6 per cent of all member banks in this district.

Debits to Individual Accounts — The following
table gives the total debits charged by banks to
checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of
deposit accounts and trust accounts of individuals,
firms, corporations and U. S. Government in leading
cities of the district. Charges to accounts of banks
are not included.
East St. Louis & Natl.
Stock Yards, 111..$ 28,942
El Dorado, Ark.... .
Evansville, In d ,... . 25,410
F ort Smith, Ark.... 10,435
Greenville, Miss... .
Helena, A rk.......... .
L ittle R ock, Ark. . 27,988
Louisville, K y ....... . 126,715
Memphis, T en n .... . 117,434
O w ensboro, K y ,,, .
Pine Bluff, Ark... .
Quincy, 111........... .
St. Louis, M o ....... . 557,697
Sedalia, M o ........... .
Springfield, Mo.... . 13,341
A rk .-T e x ...... .


*O ct.,

$ 27,319

$ 41,781



O ct., 1931 comp, to
Sept. 1931 Oct. 1930
b 5.9%
b 8.3
- 1.3
+ 3 7 .6
+ 11.8
+ 6 3 .5
+ 14.0
+ 5.0
- 1.4
+ 11.1

— 30.7%
— 38.1
— 6.0
— 18.0
— 23.4
— 52.3
— 29.2
— 35.9
— 26.4
— 26.6
— 21.0
— 28.5
— 18.2
— 22.9
— 27.2


— 29.7


Totals......... .$951,121
$874,483 $1,239,956
+ 8.8
— 23.3
*In thousands (000 om itted).
** Includes one bank in Texarkana, Texas not in Eighth District.

Federal Reserve Operations — During October
the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discounted
for 260 member banks against 215 in September and
208 in October, 1930. The discount rate remained
unchanged at 3y2 per cent. Changes in the principal
assets and liabilities of this institution appear in the
following table:
*N ov. 18,
Bills discounted...................................................$25,471
Bills bought......................................................... 23,201
U . S. Securities................................................... 31,084
Federal Inter. Cr. Bk. Debentures..............
Participation in Inv. Foreign Banks.....„..... 1,103
T otal bills and securities............................. $81,489
F. R. N otes in circulation............................. 85,890
T otal deposits....................................................... 73,117
Ratio of reserve to deposits
and F. R. N ote Liabilities......................... 54.6%
* In thousands (000 om itted).

(Compiled November 25, 1931)

*O ct. 18,

♦Nov. 18,





Production and employment in manufacturing indus­
tries declined further in October, while output of minerals
increased more than is usual at this season. There was a
considerable decrease in the demand for reserve bank credit
after the middle of October, reflecting a reduction in mem­
ber bank reserve balances, and in November an inflow of
gold largely from Japan. Conditions in the money market
became somewhat easier.
put of manufactures and minerals, as measured by the
Board’s seasonally adjusted index of industrial production,

declined from 76 per cent of the 1923-1925 average in Sep­
tember to 74 per cent in October. Output of steel remained
unchanged at 28 per cent of capacity in October, although
it usually shows an increase for that month; in the first half
of November activity at steel mills increased somewhat.
Automobile production declined sharply in October. Pro­
duction of shoes and woolens decreased and cotton mill ac­
tivity showed little change, although an increase is usual at
this season. Output of bituminous coal increased seasonally,
and there were large increases in the output of anthracite
and petroleum. Volume of factory employment declined
substantially from the middle of September to the middle
of October. At woolen mills, where an increase in employ­
ment is usual at this season, there was a large decrease.
In the automobile and shoe industries reductions in em­
ployment were considerably larger than usual, while in the
canning industry the decline was wholly of a seasonal char­
acter. The silk goods and hosiery industries’ employment
increased by more than the usual seasonal amount.

Federal Reserve B oard’s index of factory em ploym ent with adjustment
for seasonal variation. (1923-1925 a v e r a g e s 100.)
Latest figure O ctober, 70.3.

and petroleum were also higher in the middle of November
than in early October. During this period the prices of live­
stock and meats declined rapidly, reflecting in part develop­
ments of a seasonal character.
BANK CREDIT — Reserve bank credit, which had in­
creased rapidly between the middle of September and the
third week of October, declined by $265,000,000 during the
following four weeks. This decline reflected a large reduc­
tion in member bank and other balances at the reserve
banks and also an inflow of gold, chiefly from Japan. De­
mand for currency, which had been on a large scale during
September and the first three weeks of October, showed re­
latively small fluctuations after that time, and in the second
week of November declined by somewhat more than the
seasonal amount.
Loans and investments of member banks in leading
cities continued to decline during recent weeks and on
November 18, the total volume was $500,000,000 smaller


M onthly rates in the open market in N ew Y o r k : Commercial paper rate
on 4 to 6 month paper. A cceptance rate on 90-day bankers’ accepttances. Latest figures are averages o f first three weeks in Novem ber.

The November cotton crop estimate of the Department
of Agriculture was 16,903,000 bales, 600,000 bales larger than
the October estimate and 3,000,000 bales larger than last
year, in spite of a reduction in acreage.
Data on the value of building contracts awarded in the
period between September 1 and November 15, as reported
by the F. W. Dodge Corporation, showed a continuation of
the downward movement; in this period value of contracts
was 29 per cent smaller than in the corresponding period
of 1930, reflecting smaller volume of construction and some­
what lower building costs.

DISTRIBUTION — Total volume of freight-car load­
ings remained unchanged in October, while loadings of
merchandise decreased. Department store sales increased by
somewhat more than the usual seasonal amount.
WHOLESALE PRICES—The general level of whole­
sale prices declined from 69.1 per cent of the 1926 average
in September to 68.4 per cent in October, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices of grains, cotton, and
silver after showing a rapid rise beginning early in October,
declined considerably, but in the third week of November
were still above their October low points. Prices of hides

in N ovem ber.

than five weeks earlier. This decrease reflected substantial
reductions in loans on securities and in other loans, as well
as in the banks’ holdings of investments. At the same time,
deposits of these banks also declined with a consequent
reduction in the reserve balances which they were required
to hold with the reserve banks.
Money rates in the open market, which had advanced
sharply during October declined somewhat early in Novem­
ber. Rates on prime commercial paper declined from a
range of 4—
-4% per cent to a range of 3$i—4 per cent, and
rates on bankers’ acceptances, from 3% to 2 per cent.